What constitutes the perfect subject for literary nonfiction? Surely, there should be something newsworthy to report, combined with something timeless. The writer should use the tools of both journalism and fiction: analysis, imagination, sensory-rich description, and abstract, metaphorical language. The perfect subject contains layers of meaning, moving between the concrete and the spiritual and leaving the reader in a state of wonder.
In the subject of death, and particularly the subject of death as taught in the classroom and beyond, former Los Angeles Times reporter Erika Hayasaki found the perfect subject for her first book.